Shekerbura – Azerbaijani sweet pastry, filled with ground nuts and sugar
(makes 24-25 shekerburas)
For the dough:
400 g all-purpose flour
5 + 1 tablespoons sugar
120 ml milk
125 g butter
½ teaspoon dry yeast
50 ml water
a pinch of salt
For the filling:
120 g ground nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts or a mixture of them)
120 g powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon cardamom
Mix warm water, a tablespoon of sugar, a tablespoon of the flour and the dry yeast. Leave it to rise for about 5 minutes.
Put the flour into a bowl and make an indentation in its center. Pour the sugar (dissolved into the milk), melted butter, yolk and salt into it. Knead into a smooth dough. Leave it to rest in a floured bowl for about 30 minutes, covered with plastic wrap.
Blend the nuts and mix them with the sugar, cardamom and vanilla.
Roll the dough out so that is about half a centimeter thick and cut circles out of it. They should have a diameter of about 9-10 cm each. Put a tablespoon of the filling onto each circle and fold it into two. Enclose it by pressing with your fingers and fold the edge as shown below.
The pattern on the dough is produced using traditional tweezers called maggash (maqqas):
If you don’t have a maggash you can decorate the shekerbura as you wish, for example by using regular tweezers.
Place the shekerburas into a baking tray that is covered with a sheet of baking paper and make sure you leave some distance between them.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 190°C for about 15 minutes or until they brown a little.